Talking therapies or talking treatments include counselling and psychotherapy. Counselling usually refers to a short period of treatment that centres around behaviour patterns. Psychotherapy focuses on working with clients for a longer-term and draws from insight into emotional problems and difficulties. During talking therapy, a trained therapist listens to you and helps you find your own answers to problems, without judging you. It’s an opportunity to look at your problems in a different way with someone who’ll respect and encourage your opinions and the decisions you make. Such therapies can help with difficult experiences or feelings or some mental health disorders.
In our survey, 1347 people had talking therapy on the NHS and 1277 had undertaken this privately. 1213 people said they had found the therapy very helpful, 875 moderately helpful and 536 said the therapy had not helped at all. Respondents mentioned CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ), CAT (Cognitive Analytic Therapy) and DIT (Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy) but there is a range of talking therapies available.
Before undertaking any type of talking therapy you need to be sure of the therapists’ credentials, what the therapy involves, how long it might take and how much it might cost if you are not accessing it through the NHS. Be aware that anyone can call themselves a counsellor, a psychotherapist or a psychologist, even if they have only done a short weekend training course – or have no training at all- so do make every effort to check things out properly.